It may be a shot in the dark, but God’sgift Achiuwa might have some value to this team during the season.
Achiuwa might not be a defensive force down low or put up 30 points in the paint, but he will have the opportunity to clean up a lot of the mess and be another body down low. Head coach Steve Lavin has been no stranger to praise the depth of his team, noting at times that he’ll have two or three people at every position.
Achiuwa scored 24 points in a St. John’s rout of Humboldt State on Monday night. He added eight rebounds, four of which were offensive rebounds. Coming off a redshirt year, Achiuwa still has a couple of hurdles to jump.
“There were some positives and sometimes, this time of the year too, you’re looking more at individual players,” Lavin said. “Trying to get Gift after that year off back in the flow of things.”
Early on, Achiuwa will have the opportunity to play a grand amount of minutes and absorb a lot of fouls for players that the team will need come down the stretch in late February and early March. There were a lot of instances last year in which players like Chris Obekpa and Jakarr Sampson had to play looser because they were in foul trouble with more than 15 minutes to go in the second half.
He will also frustrate point guards who drive the paint and could wear down other teams who have a lack of depth in the forward and center positions.
He won’t play a lot of minutes or score a lot of points but he can be a key contributor and rest team mates so they’re fresh and ready to go against rigorous Big East teams. But for now, Achiuwa is just happy to be back in the mix.
“For me, I’m really excited and happy to be back. I watched my team from the sideline last year and from the TV for the games that I didn’t go to,” said Achiuwa. “I’m fighting and I’m really happy to be back and to be able to assist them in whichever way I can and to deliver things that coach asks me to do.”